Revising a novel gives me the same dread I felt when writing the saggy middle of my story. I was standing at the beginning of an unending cracked desert and had no idea how to get to the other side. Mouth goes dry. As does every impulse. But in order to get from a crappy first draft to a polished manuscript, you have to go through the storm—the parts that hold your story together, the big stuff. Luckily, I've pieced this process into three steps that keep me sane.